I have news for you. Your stakeholder someones just may really be doing the selling in your organization. Do you know who they are?
You know, the stakeholders you refer to when things slip through the cracks: “Well, someone must be in charge of that. Otherwise, how could it possibly happen?”
Or, “I didn’t know I was responsible for that. I thought someone else would take care of it.”
Then, there is the classic: “Gee, Mr. Client, that was someone else’s responsibility, not mine. I will find out who they are and get on it right away. And get back to you.”
Stakeholders someones inhabit your organization. They keep you looking good in your clients’ eyes.
Regardless of whether you are an inside or outside sales professional, the care and feeding of potential and current clients is critical. To growth, expansion and sustainability. Your organization’s and your clients’.
A customer acquisition and retention ecosystem exists. Really. Outside of your KPIs and quotas. And this ecosystem spans across the entire organization. From front door to loading dock. From business through operations and logistics.
This ecosystem is full of your stakeholder someones. And, they are curators of client health and wellbeing, throughout the client lifecycle. These employees, in-house and virtual, are the wizards who are responsible for customer experience, customer success and customer retention.
Stakeholder someones know who you are. Because they pick up the pieces when things fall through the cracks and get lost in transition.
Even if these stakeholder someones remain nameless and faceless to you, currently. Why is that?
Because you either are the sales professional who overpromises, underspecifies and sends post-sale execution into a mad scramble. Or, you are their sales professional of choice because you do not abandon either them, or the customer, post-sale.
Also, because you either are the sales professional who has your someones’ backs, or not. And you communicate cross-functionally on behalf of better serving your customers and stakeholders. Or not. Also, you are a humble servant leader who understands that your own sales performance is only as good as the stakeholder network you create. Then again, perhaps you do not understand at all.
These stakeholder someones are a critical piece of human capital strategy and enduring client value.
Your “someones” are part of the equation adding up to the aggregated client experiences responsible for customer retention. Consider that their experiences drive referral, as well.
Are your clients raving more about your stakeholder someones than they are about your own performance?
Well, the sales rep was OK. However, once the contract came in house, I knew I was in good hands, moving forward. The internal groups made recommendations which really improved product performance. That is why I continue to do business with them. After all, how many sales reps turn over each year? Stakeholder continuity remains constant, year after year.”
Isn’t it about time to take a more diverse and inclusive approach to retaining the customers you work so hard to win?
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Babette Ten Haken brings her One Millimeter Mindset™ speaking programs and workshops to organizations and associations, like yours, who want to leverage collaborative business models and profitable workforces to retain the customers you work so hard to win. Her programs catalyze communication and collaboration between disparate or siloed groups, especially in industries with technically-focused stakeholders.
She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform.
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